A comedy drama that depicts the juggle of filmmaking and parenthood, Maybe Tomorrow, took home the prize for best independent film at the Gold Coast Film Festival yesterday evening.
Judged by members of the Australian Film Critics Association, the Blackmagic Design Best Australian Independent Film Award gifts Melbourne directors Caitlin Farrugia and Michael Jones $10,000 worth of Blackmagic equipment and software.
Other films nominated in the category, which recognises features made without significant screen agency funding, were Heath Davis’ Locusts, Tony D’Aquino’s The Furies and Imogen Thomas’ Emu Runner.
Maybe Tomorrow, which stars Tegan Crowley and Vateresio Tuikaba as new parents making a self-funded feature film, makes its world premiere at Gold Coast Film Festival this evening.
Farrugia and Jones were presented the award at the GCFF’s inaugural Screen Industry Gala Awards, held at Movie World.
The night also saw actress Sigrid Thornton presented the Chauvel Award, recognising her significant contribution to the industry over her five decade career. Thornton joins a list of previous winners that includes Fred Schepisi, Gillian Armstrong, Jan Chapman, Deborah Mailman and Claudia Karvan. (Read IF’s interview with Thornton here).
Imogen Thomas’ Emu Runner was the winner of the $1,000 PKF Best Australian Independent Film Peer Award, judged by alumni filmmakers from the festival’s Australian indie strand.
The inaugural Queensland Screenwriting Prize went to Taylor Bennett for her script Carry On, which sees the writer take home $5,000 cash, and have a live script read at the festival next week. Second place was awarded to Helen Darvall and third place went to Angus Watts, whose debut film Locusts is having its premiere at the festival on April 11.
The web series awards went to Lisa Hughes for The Actress Diaries (Best International Web Series), Clare Sladden for Freudian Slip (Best Comedy Web Series) and Nikki Tran and Simon Trevorrow for Fresh! (Best Australian Web Series).
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said: “The Queensland Government through Screen Queensland and Tourism and Events Queensland, is proud to be a major supporter of the Gold Coast Film Festival and we congratulate the festival on cementing their reputation as a key event on the screen industry calendar through the Screen Industry Gala Awards.”
Gold Coast Film Festival Director Lucy Fisher said the festival was proud to expand its prizes for filmmaking in 2019.
“The festival has expanded our prize offering for filmmakers this year to $25,000 worth of prizes with two new categories – webseries and screenwriting and this is only made possible by the support from Screen Queensland and our prize partners, who share our commitment to supporting and nurturing film talent.”
The winners of SIPFEST, the GCFF’s short film competition, will be announced on April 6, while the Queensland student short film competition EMERGE will name its award recipients on April 12.
Gold Coast Film Festival runs until Sunday 14 April.
SCREEN INDUSTRY GALA AWARD WINNERS
Blackmagic Design Best Australian Independent Film Award
Maybe Tomorrow, Caitlin Farrugia and Michael Jones
PKF Best Australian Independent Film Peer Award
Emu Runner, Imogen Thomas
Queensland Screenwriting Award – presented by The Heaton Group
Carry On, Taylor Bennett
Best International Web Series
The Actress Diaries, created by Lisa Hughes
Best Comedy Web Series
Freudian Slip, created by Clare Sladden
Best Australian Web series
Fresh! created by Nikki Tran & Simon Trevorrow